Arduaine Garden opening postponed due to storm damage

Winter storms felled dozens of trees at Arduaine Garden, the National Trust for Scotland's exotic coastal garden in Argyll. Its spring opening has been postponed until summer in parts, and the rest until 2023, while staff clean up.

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The National Trust for Scotland’s Arduaine Garden near Oban will not be opening to the public this spring due to storm damage sustained over the winter.

Since November 2021, dozens of National Trust for Scotland sites lost more than one million trees in storms and Arduaine Garden, on the coast between Kilmelford and Craobh Haven, has also been badly affected, with dozens of trees felled by high winds.

As a result of this damage, the conservation charity has confirmed the garden will remain closed to allow staff to carry out essential forestry work, necessary for safe access to the public. It is estimated the clear up will take months.

Work has been going on at Arduaine Garden for the past five years to remove 1,000 larch trees from its shelterbelt to comply with a Statutory Plant Health Notice which was issued because of the presence of Phytophthora ramorum.

This fungal-like organism causes dieback and death in a wide range of trees and shrubs, but particularly affects larch. Around 900 of these trees have been felled so far.

Simon Jones, the National Trust for Scotland’s garden and designed landscape manager said: ‘These larch made up most of the shelterbelt at Arduaine Garden, protecting the wider garden from the strong winds and spray coming in from the West Coast.

‘With so much of that shelterbelt now removed, the rest of the trees in the garden were more exposed to the recent powerful storms of Arwen, Corrie and Eunice and we’ve lost dozens of trees and shrubs as a result.

‘Unfortunately, the damage is so extensive, it’s going to take our teams months to clear up and ensure the site is safe for visitors.

Storm damage at Arduaine Gardens near Oban.

‘Our priority is to ensure this beautiful place is cleaned up, cared for and ready to welcome the public again, as soon as we can. We’re really grateful for everyone’s understanding and support while this work is underway.’

The work to reopen the garden will be carried out in two stages – with the first stage of this work will enable the lower part of the garden to reopen to the public.

It is anticipated that this could take months and the lower garden may not open again until the end of summer. The second stage, which will allow the rest of the garden to be opened, will not be completed until 2023.

Donations in support of this highly specialised work are welcome and can be made at www.nts.org.uk/campaigns/storm-damage

NO_T15_Arduaine storm damage_02

Winter storms felled dozens of trees at Arduaine Garden, the National Trust for Scotland’s exotic coastal garden in Argyll. Its spring opening has been postponed until summer in parts, and the rest until 2023, while staff clean up.

NO_T15_Arduaine storm damage_01

Storm damage at Arduaine Gardens near Oban.